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Showing posts from December, 2012

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

This is the aforementioned review of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.  This is probably one of the best non fiction books I've ever read, both for subject matter and readability.  It was very popular when it first came out, and I heard great things about it from those who read it.  It wasn't until it was recently returned to the library that I thought I'd give it a try.

Through massive research, investigation and reporting, it tells the story of the woman, Henrietta Lacks, whose cells spawned countless cell lines that still live today over half a century since her death.  Her cells led to the development of countless research and scientific breakthroughs: from vaccines to genome mapping and everything in between.

Skloot relates the story of Henrietta by framing it within the larger tale of her decade long journey to unearth the facts of the case and find answers for Henrietta's family and descendants.  It is a story that takes many, sometimes bizarre, turns.

The …

Fanny and Joshua: The Enigmatic Lives of Frances Caroline Adams and Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain by Diane Monroe Smith

For someone who doesn't read non fiction, I've been reading an awful lot of it lately.  For whatever reason, it seems non fiction has been capturing and holding my attention better than fiction has been.  I can't remember if I read this before or after The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (to be reviewed in an upcoming post), but it's getting its post first.

Fanny and Joshua: The Enigmatic Lives of Frances Caroline Adams and Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain is a very long title.  An aside: as a longtime 'name nerd,' I have to say that I love the name Frances Caroline.

Joshua Chamberlain was a seminary graduate and professor who felt called to serve his country during her hour(s) of greatest need: the American Civil War.  His military service was distinguished.  Some say that he single-handedly changed the tide of the war at the Battle of Gettysburg where he led his Maine regiment in a brave and dangerous charge against a Confederate regiment as it threatened to over…

Wide Open by Deborah Coates

As you can see by the many months since the last posted review, I haven't been reading many books.  I started this book sometime during the summer.  The morning I started this book, I read the first 100 pages (it's a fast read and a page turner), and then I had to go to work and after that I didn't pick it back up again until Hurricane Sandy blew through at the end of October.  I finished another book during the storm and then finished this one while I waited for the internet to come back.

Wide Open is a supernatural, suspense thriller; as far as I can tell, its Deborah Coates' first print novel, although she has two previous e-books that come up in an Amazon search.  For those who liked Wide Open (of whom I am one), there's a sequel, Deep Down, that was set for release in March of 2013 the last time I checked.

Hallie Michaels returns home on compassionate leave from Afghanistan and when she steps off the plane, she's greeted by the ghost of her sister, Dell, w…